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MISSING MITTENS by Stuart J. Murphy


by Stuart J. Murphy & illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-028026-3
Publisher: HarperCollins

Murphy’s newest addition to the MathStart series (Probably Pistachio, see below, etc.) introduces readers to the concept of odd and even numbers. Farmer Bill is shivering in the snowy air, but the barnyard needs tending. To his confusion and consternation he finds that, though he is snuggled warmly into his long underwear, hat, coat, scarf, and earmuffs he’s sadly short of one mitten. Here the reader sees the first example of odd and even. This concept is stated in the rhyming text as well as illustrated plainly on the adjoining page. As Farmer Bill visits his farm animals, he discovers that not only does the cow have only three, not four mittens, but his two horses have only seven mittens—not enough for eight hooves. One by one it becomes clear that each animal is short one, each being stuck with an odd number of mittens. Who’s the rascal behind this mischief? Well, let’s just say that when all the mittens are retrieved each has a few mouthfuls munched away. The book closes with two pages of activities for parents to share with their readers from discussions stemming directly from the book to activities drawn from daily life. Karas’s distinctive and confident artwork is a flurry of snowy landscape and snuggly barn. Once the culprit is revealed, readers will want to go back and find him in each scene. (Picture book. 3-7)